Water supply pipelines in urban areas need to be relined every few decades. Recently, new trenchless technologies have emerged that are more cost-effective than traditional open cut systems. Among the new technologies, the pipe bursting technique has been used the most. A life cycle assessment (LCA) environmental impact analysis has not yet been performed to compare the traditional relining system and the no-dig techniques. This paper presents a comparative LCA of the traditional and the pipe bursting relining systems. The analysis considered two different pipes diameters (DN200 mm and DN500 mm) and two different pipe materials that must be replaced (asbestos cement and pig iron). To determine the eco-profile of the alternatives, the ReCiPe 2008 H/H Europe impact assessment method was applied and integrated with three new inventory indicators related to asbestos and pig iron dispersion in the air and soil to overcome the lack of specific impact assessment methods. The results demonstrate that the pipe bursting technology generates lower environmental impacts in most of the impact categories. The gap between the environmental performances of the two technologies increases with increasing diameter of the replaced pipe. For the same pipe diameter, the impacts are higher for the asbestos cement pipe than the pig iron pipe for both relining systems.

LCA comparison of traditional open cut and pipe bursting systems for relining water pipelines

Toniolo, Sara;
2018

Abstract

Water supply pipelines in urban areas need to be relined every few decades. Recently, new trenchless technologies have emerged that are more cost-effective than traditional open cut systems. Among the new technologies, the pipe bursting technique has been used the most. A life cycle assessment (LCA) environmental impact analysis has not yet been performed to compare the traditional relining system and the no-dig techniques. This paper presents a comparative LCA of the traditional and the pipe bursting relining systems. The analysis considered two different pipes diameters (DN200 mm and DN500 mm) and two different pipe materials that must be replaced (asbestos cement and pig iron). To determine the eco-profile of the alternatives, the ReCiPe 2008 H/H Europe impact assessment method was applied and integrated with three new inventory indicators related to asbestos and pig iron dispersion in the air and soil to overcome the lack of specific impact assessment methods. The results demonstrate that the pipe bursting technology generates lower environmental impacts in most of the impact categories. The gap between the environmental performances of the two technologies increases with increasing diameter of the replaced pipe. For the same pipe diameter, the impacts are higher for the asbestos cement pipe than the pig iron pipe for both relining systems.
Asbestos cement
Life cycle assessment
Pipe bursting
Trenchless
Urban area
Urban infrastructures
Water pipeline relining
Waste Management and Disposal
Economics and Econometrics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1055735
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